If the dream is to snap a picture of St. Marks, or hang out on the Rialto Bridge, but then quickly zip back onto a cruise ship, or somewhere else — you can keep the dream alive, but it’s about to get more expensive.
After reimagining the city as it once was, before the days of over tourism, souvenirs made elsewhere and doing it “for the gram”, Venice is recommitting to efforts to make the city more expensive for people who don’t add value to the local economy.
Like other cities famous for cruises, Venice found that guests who stayed on ships or day tripped contributed less than €2 per day to the local economy, while using up vast local resources and leaving considerable waste in their trail. It’s adding a visitor tax on all guests who don’t stay the night, accordingly.
Venice Visitor Fees
Residents, Italian citizens and all overnight guests would be spared under the new visitor tax system, but others would not. Italy is aiming to continue with plans to launch a visitor tax, to help stabilize the city from over tourism and the waste that comes with it.
According to Bloomberg News, by summer 2022, Venice plans to initiate a reservation system, which would limit the number of daily tourist visitors and officially add a long proposed tax, which could range from €3-€10, depending where proposals come out.
Even with a reservation, people coming from ships or places outside of the city, who aren’t paying overnight tax by staying in a hotel or other local accommodation would be forced to also pay a fee to enter the city limits, if plans become official as expected.
Cities Look For Sustainable Tourism
From the Greek Islands to Rio De Janeiro and Venice too, what tourism means for a local economy is being reconsidered at the highest levels. Many have embraced new systems which promote tourists who contribute as much as they take, rather than just those who take.
Government subsidies for cruise lines which dock, stuff guests full of on-board buffets and then set them loose on the streets, before shuttling them back out after dark are being reconsidered.
Instead, new government proposals favor creating more attractive travel experiences for those who stay the night, enjoy the local restaurants, shop in authentic stores and bring real and quantifiable economic value. It may be classist, but to an extent, travel always has been.